Kraft Foods: wants to acquire Danone´s biscuit business

Northfield / IL. (kf) Kraft Foods Inc. announced that it has made a binding offer to acquire the global biscuit business of Groupe Danone for 5,3 billion Euro (7,2 billion USD) in cash. As required by French law, Danone must consult with its Works Council prior to entering into a definitive agreement. Both companies anticipate that the transaction will close by the end of the year. The planned acquisition encompasses Danone´s market-leading biscuit brands – among them, LU, Tuc and Prince – and operations and assets in 20 countries, including 36 manufacturing facilities. The transaction does not include Danone´s joint ventures in Latin America and India. During 2006, the biscuit businesses to be acquired generated revenues of 2,0 billion Euro (2,7 billion USD) and Ebitda of 390 million Euro (525 million USD). This acquisition will be subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory clearances. Employing approximately 15.000 people around the world, Danone´s biscuit business has a successful business model, a talented management team and a strong innovation pipeline. The European headquarters of the biscuit business will remain in the greater Paris metropolitan area for the foreseeable future. Kraft does not intend to close any of the Danone biscuit manufacturing facilities in France for at least three years after the agreement is signed . With the acquisition, Kraft will gain broader operating scale and additional reach across the globe. This includes critical emerging markets – such as China, Russia, Poland, Indonesia and Malaysia – that account for over 25 percent of the business. For example, Kraft will double the size of its business in China and gain entry into the biscuit category in Eastern Europe, notably in Russia, where Danone is the share leader. The company also will establish footholds in Malaysia and Indonesia (full text).